Category Archives: Free Jazz

HEDVIG MOLLESTAD TRIO-DING DONG, YOU’RE DEAD.

Hedvig Mollestad Trio-Ding Dong, You’re Dead. Label: Rune Grammofon. Format: CD. Just nine months ago award-winning Norwegian guitarist, vocalist, bandleader and composer Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen released her critically acclaimed debut solo album Ekhidna.  By then, she was one of the leading lights of Norway’s vibrant music scene. She had founded the Hedvig Mollestad Trio in 2009 …

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MANONGO MUJICA AND TERJE EVENSEN-PARACAS RITUAL

Manongo Mujica and Terje Evensen-Paracas Ritual. Label: Buh Records. Format: 2 x LP. Manongo Mujica has been a leading light of the Peruvian avant-garde music scene since the seventies, and has met a myriad of musicians who were touring Peru. In 2003, this included Norwegian drummer, sound designer, teacher and composer Terje Evensen who was …

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CULT CLASSIC: DAWAN MUHAMMAD-DEEP STREAM.

Cult Classic: Dawan Muhammad-Deep Stream. By 1979, jazz wasn’t as popular as it was during the fifties and early sixties. That was the golden age for jazz, and saw countless classic albums released on labels like Blue Note, Verve and Impulse! These albums sold in large quantities and were profitable for the record companies that …

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CULT CLASSIC: BRAINCHILD-HEALING OF THE LUNATIC OWL.

Cult Classic: Brainchild-Healing Of The Lunatic Owl. Progressive brass rock pioneers Brainchild were formed in Somerset in the late-sixties, and by the 1970 the septet had signed to A&M. This was perfect timing as the brass rock boom began in 1969 and continued until 1972. By then,  Chicago, Blood, Sweat and Tears and The Electric …

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CULT CLASSIC: ANDREW HILL-SMOKE STACK.

Cult Classic: Andrew Hill-Smoke Stack. By the time Chicago-born pianist Andrew Hill released his sophomore album Black Fire on Blue Note Records in 1964, he was already thirty-two, and was making up for lost time. He had only started to play the piano when he was thirteen but made rapid progress. Earl Hines    spotted …

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SPIRITUAL JAZZ 13: NOW! PART TWO.

Spiritual Jazz 13: Now! Part Two. Label: Jazzman Records. Format: CD. Nowadays, there aren’t many compilation series’ that are still going strong after thirteen years and thirteen volumes. However, Jazzman Records’ critically acclaimed compilation and commercially successful Spiritual Jazz seems to be going from strength-to-strength. Recently, the label released Spiritual Jazz 13: Now! Part One and Two which are …

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CULT CLASSIC: CATAPILLA-CHANGES.

Cult Classic: Catapilla- Changes. The story of Catapilla is another case of what might have been. They were formed in West London around Christmas 1970, and signed to Vertigo Records and released two ambitious and innovative albums where they combined progressive rock with experimental fusion. Sadly, neither their 1971 debut album Catapilla, nor the followup …

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SPIRITUAL JAZZ 13: NOW! PART ONE.

Spiritual Jazz 13: Now! Part One. Label: Jazzman Records. Format: CD. Little did anyone at Jazzman Records know when they released Spiritual Jazz (Esoteric, Modal and Deep Jazz From The Underground 1968-77) in 2008, that this was the first instalment in what would become their longest-running and most successful compilation series. Over the next thirteen …

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CULT CLASSIC: DUKE ELLINGTON, CHARLIE MINGUS, MAX ROACH-MONEY JUNGLE.

Cult Classic: Duke Ellington, Charlie Mingus, Max Roach-Money Jungle. On Monday, September the ‘17th’ 1962, bassist Charles Mingus and drummer Max Roach made their way to Sound Makers Studio, in New York. The two friends were en route to a session where they would record an album with one of the giants of jazz, Duke …

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CULT CLASSIC: JACKIE MCLEAN-A FICKLE SONANCE.

Cult Classic: Jackie McLean-A Fickle Sonance. On October the ’26th’ 1961, thirty year old alto-saxophonist Jackie McLean made the now familiar journey to the Van Gelder Studio, at 445 Sylvan Avenue, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, to record a new album with his quintet. The album became A Fickle Sonance, which was released in late 1962 and is …

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CULT CLASSIC: TEA AND SYMPHONY-AN ASYLUM FOR THE MUSICALLY INSANE.

Cult Classic: Tea and Symphony-An Asylum For The Musically Insane. When the original lineup of Tea and Symphony was founded in Birmingham, England, in the late-sixties, they were an acoustic group who have since been compared to Marc Bolan’s Tyrannosaurus Rex. The group was founded by Jeff Daw, James Langston and Nigel Phillips, but when they played …

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CULT CLASSIC: DR JOHN THE NIGHT TRIPPER-THE SUN, MOON AND HERBS.

Cult Classic: Dr John The Night Tripper-The Sun, Moon and Herbs. By July 1970, twenty-nine year old Dr John was about to begin recording his fourth album for Atco which eventually became The Sun, Moon and Herbs.  He had written six new track and cowrote Familiar Reality (Opening) with Jesse Hill and he planned to record …

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CULT CLASSIC: PHAROAH SANDERS-WELCOME TO LOVE.

Cult Classic: Pharoah Sanders-Welcome To Love. By the time Pharoah Sanders began recording Welcome To Love on the ‘17th’ of July 1990, at Studio Gimmick, Yerres, France, the American saxophonist and pioneer of free jazz was fifty, and was signed to the Dutch independent label, Timeless Records.  Pharoah Sanders debut for his new label was …

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CULT CLASSIC: SUN RA AND HIS MYTH SCIENCE ARKESTRA-WHEN ANGELS SPEAK OF LOVE.

Cult Classic: Sun Ra and His Myth Science Arkestra-When Angels Speak Of Love. One of the most prolific artist of the twentieth century was the inimitable Sun Ra, who released around 125 albums during a career that spanned six decades. One that is a render of one of   jazz’s pioneer and innovators is When Angels Speak Of Lovse. …

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TERJE RYPDAL-CONSPIRACY.

Terje Rypdal-Conspiracy. Label: ECM. Format: CD. Norwegian guitarist Terje Rypdal was twenty-one when he released his debut album Bleak House on Polydor in 1968. This was the start of a recording career that has spanned six decades and saw the him become one of Norway’s most successful musical exports. Three years later, in 1971, Terje …

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ODED TZUR-HERE BE DRAGONS.

Oded Tzur-Here Be Dragons. Label: ECM. Format: CD. In 2015, thirty-one year old Israeli tenor saxophonist Oded Tzur released his much-anticipated debut solo album Like A Great River on Enja Records. It was released to plaudits and praise with critics heaping praise on a pioneering musician who had developed his own saxophone technique which he …

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HUNTSVILLE AND YUKA HONDA, NELS CLINE, DARIN GRAY, GLENN KOTCHE-BOW SHOULDER.

Huntsville and Yuka Honda, Nels Cline, Darin Gray, Glenn Kotche-Bow Shoulder. Label: Hubro Music. Format: CD. In the spring of 2006, Chicago alternative rock band Wilco and Huntsville  were booked to play at the Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville in Quebec, Canada. Wilco played first and their guitarist Nels Cline decided to watch …

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SUN RA ARKESTRA-SWIRLING.

Sun Ra Arkestra-Swirling. Label: Strut. Format: CD. On May the ’30th’ 1993, Sun Ra passed away aged seventy-nine and that day, music was in mourning at the loss a musical pioneer who had played his part in rewriting the history of jazz. From the late-fifties, Sun Ra was one of the pioneers of free jazz …

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THE AWAKENING-HEAR, SENSE AND FEEL.

The Awakening-Hear, Sense and Feel. Label: Real Gone Music. Format: CD. Of the twenty albums that Black Jazz Records released between 1971 and 1975, The Awakening’s Hear, Sense and Feel is a much prized rarity amongst collectors. Copies of the album change hands for hundreds of dollars. That is no surprise given the quality of …

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MICHAEL ROTHER-SOLO II AND DREAMING.

Michael Rother-Solo II and Dreaming. Label: Gronland Records. Format: CD. By the early seventies, the German music scene was thriving, and  was one of the most vibrant in Europe. Some of the most influential and innovative music was being recorded and released by German bands who were part of a new musical movement and were making Kosmische musik. Its roots …

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